Life is Too Short

May 25, 2008
By Margaret Lobeck, Edina, MN

Life is Too Short

Creeeak. My flip-flops slowly crept down the squeaky wooden stairs. “I love you and I’m going to miss you so much!” Tears rolled down my face like a waterfall as I gave my friends one last hug. Taylor’s light brown hair glowed in the sunlight and Kelli just stood there hoping the moment would never end. I dawdle past the front porch still looking back at two girls that I care about most. I could hear the morning birds chirping in the trees above and smell the aroma of fresh air. Grabbing for the handle to my car, I plop down in the seat. Fall leaves crunched on the ground as our gray Honda rolled away. The radio played only loud enough so you could barely hear it. Dad sat in the driver’s seat silent, noticing my glum feelings. The day that I had been dreading the most had come. Sure, I was going to camp for two weeks with one of my best friends, but it hurt so much leaving everyone else. A massive pounding formed in my head like a hammer crashing down on me. We finally reach my brick house and park in the driveway. “Are you okay?” My Dad looked over at me with the saddest look I had ever seen. It was like he was a little boy who had just lost his toy.

“Yea…” It wasn’t a very convincing answer for my father, but he didn’t push for anything more than that. Our black screen door screeched as I entered and there was my mom’s short figure standing in the kitchen. I slowly go to her and just hug her. A tight squeeze came upon me and I rested my head on her shoulder. I never thought the day would ever come that I would move away from everyone in Ohio that I loved the most. It was so surreal and some how felt like a dream that wouldn’t end or maybe even a nightmare. After letting go, I meandered to my room that I had spent so much time in. The brown cardboard boxes filled with all my memories lie stacked in neat piles on the ground. Ignoring them, I crawled onto my bed and bawled my eyes out. I was just trying to let everything melt away and not think about it.

“Margaret, it’s time to go.” My mom peeked her head in my door and tried to take no notice of my cherry red cheeks because of my crying. It took me about ten minutes till I actually got in the vehicle to leave for Camp Ernst. My mom turned to me, “Are you ready?” I just glanced at her and nodded yes. She jammed her key into the ignition and turned it about a quarter of a turn. The engine revved and we were on our way. I looked all around just trying to get a good look at the place that I had lived for the past six years. The four, big, white pillars that always towered over me when I was sitting outside waiting for my ride to soccer, and the green grass our whole neighborhood used to always play Ghost in the Graveyard on. The black asphalt shined from the rays of the sun where I played tennis with my neighbors. I yank out my CDs from my blue bag and stick one into the player. A soft murmur of a song came on and I twisted the volume knob to blast music hoping it would help drown out my thoughts. We drive past a golf course covered with flourishing green grass close to where I had once lived.

“Well, we have some time to kill. Do you want to go into the mall and just look around?” My mom gazed at me while we were sitting at a red light. We had just driven about an hour and I couldn’t actually go to camp until a certain time.

I had no energy left to really say a lot, but I managed to reply with an okay. I swung open the door to the mall entrance. A cool air blew at my face like a sudden wind outside. I could smell the fast food from the food court and the variety of odors creeping from the perfume store. With no idea of where to go, I just started to wander through this unfamiliar mall. After passing in and out of a few stores, we decided to leave. As I strolled out of the building I saw huge black clouds forming overhead. It’s like someone was just trying to ruin my day.

We finally pulled up to camp and I noticed a girl with long curly brown hair standing near a cabin. “Erica!” I screamed at the top of my lungs to who was going to be my roommate for the next two weeks. All summer, I had hardly seen her. Roots stuck out of the ground as if they wanted to trip me when I was running up the hill. We gave each other a hug and started talking. Mom came up the dirt path to greet Mrs. Stonehill, Erica’s Mom. She had capri jeans on and her orange hair fell across her face.

“You have to take a swimming test to make sure you can swim in the pool. It’s so easy,” Erica informed me. The tall trees sheltered us from the fluffy clouds. There was a long building with a huge sign on top reading “Dining Hall.” After our parents finished talking, we decided to go and get my stuff from our van. Still chatting, we sauntered down the hill to get my totally over sized buffle bag. The trunk lifted and it revealed all of my stuff that I needed for camp. I grabbed one end and Erica clutched the other. It was like lifting a million rocks. What had I put in there? We lugged it up to the cabin where about 12 bunk beds were placed. Erica asked, “Which one do you want?”

“That one I guess,” I pointed to one in the corner. It was painted white and was right near the window. We planted my stuff under my bed and headed outside. “Bye!” I rapped my arms around my mom and then we were off to the pool. I noticed my Mom’s car pulling out and now I knew I was on my own.


It was the last day I was at camp, hard thing to think about because I didn’t know what I was in for the next couple of months. I was really excited to see my family, but I still didn’t want to have to say good-bye to more people. It was pouring down rain when people started to leave. My friend, Julia, came the second week that I was at camp with a bunch of other people that I knew. “Jules!” We talked for a few minutes and then tried to say good-bye quickly so I wouldn’t start crying again. She had been one of my friends since first grade, I’ve known her forever. Her short hair was tied back in a ponytail and the humid air was starting to fog up her glasses. I gave her a white card that had my new address written on it and that was the last time I saw her.

Mom’s car was pulling up the road when almost half of my cabin had already left. Erica and I were sitting on our luggage just waiting for our families to come. It was a gloomy day out, buckets of rain coming down and the damp weather made me exhausted. As she walked up to see me, I glanced at Erica and she looked back. We knew what was coming. She stood up and just starred at me. I met her at eye level and hugged her. I never wanted to let go. “Call me as soon as you get there?”

“Of course.” I lifted my stuff and started to hike down to my Mom.

“Hi! Did you have a good time?” She had a big smile covering her face as she picked up my bag to load it in the car.

“Yea. It was really fun! I had a blast.” We climbed in to the car and drove slowly down the road. So many kids were leaving camp it was like waiting in line at the carnival.

For about seven hours we drove, even though it seemed like forever. We passed fields or corn, and then we went in to the woods. All the while, music was filling my ears and I told my mom all about my time. She filled me in on how the packing went and the house we were moving into. That night we stayed in Chicago. We were way too tired to go any further. ESPN Zone was just around the block so we strolled down the busy city streets to get dinner. I ordered a Caesar salad and my Mom got some soup. After gobbling down our food, we ambled back to our hotel and got a good night sleep.

At about twelve o’clock the next day, we drove up to Minnesota. Eventually, we got off the highway and went past a church down a long street. A huge golf course took up most of the right side, and then we pulled up to a one-story house with a big window in front. A moving truck was in the front driveway when we pulled up. The neighborhood was unfamiliar and different. Big puffy cotton balls hung over head and a fresh gentle wind blew my hair back. Tomorrow I had my first cross-country practice. I was excited but nerves took over my body, considering I didn’t know one person.


It’s been about three years since I’ve moved. My life had its ups and downs, but then again whose hasn’t? I learned people change, for better and for worse. As a whole the experience made me realize that everything might be rough at first but it will always get better. The whole summer went by too quickly and I never really realized I was moving until it really happened. I didn’t love it in Edina at first, but it’s the trees, houses, teachers, and friends that made me learn to love it. I know that you only live once, and you can’t dwell on what “might have been.” One night my parents sat my brother and I down to tell us we were moving, little did we know it would change us and life as we knew it. There were so many things that I had wanted to do before leaving, but I never got to them. Life is too short to just sit around and watch things happen. Do what you love and don’t have any regrets. You’ll only learn by what made you get there. The experiences, heartbreaks, and perplexities are what help us grow into what we are.

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